By Chris Van Buskirk
BOSTON (Boston Globe) — State Rep. Kate Lipper-Garabedian’s swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, March 25 was by all accounts a sign of the daily abnormalities brought on by the coronavirus.
Gov. Charlie Baker administered her oath of office on the State House’s Grand Staircase, an odd sight for veteran legislators like House Speaker Robert DeLeo and state Rep. Paul Donato, D-Medford. Under normal circumstances, the ceremony would have taken place during a formal House session with a great deal of pomp and circumstance.
“You have witnessed a historical moment in terms of being here as a representative and as a speaker. I thought I saw everything, but this is the first time I ever experienced anything like this,” DeLeo said. “We were talking about even doing it in the Governor’s Council chamber and people felt that was even too close.”
Lipper-Garabedian, a Democrat who had served as a Melrose city councilor, takes over the 32nd Middlesex District seat after Rep. Paul Brodeur resigned last fall to become mayor of Melrose. She received nearly 80 percent of the vote compared to the 18 percent garnered by her Republican challenger, Brandon Reid, during a special election earlier this month.
During the ceremony, Baker and Lipper-Garabedian were appropriately spaced apart by about 6 feet while Donato, DeLeo, state Sen. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester, and Councilor Terry Kennedy watched from a distance on the staircase.